LOCAL clubs North Wilts and Clarrie Dunbar both face a busy and vital period this weekend in national team competitions and the regional Wessex League.

Chippenham-based North Wilts ladies’ A team meet Nailsea B in the second round of the O60s double rinks Mason Trophy on Friday – one rink home and one away.

The next day, North Wilts ladies face Clarrie in a last-32 tie in the knockout competition for the Yetton Trophy after previous victories over Bristol (88-79) and Brockworth-based MidGlos (80-71). Two rinks will be played at home and two away.

North Wilts have a good record in the Yetton Trophy in recent years, having reached the quarter-finals several times and semi-finals once.

The mixed team at North Wilts are enjoying their best season and an excellent run in the Egham Trophy has seen them reach the last 16 of the competition.

Following victories over Malvern Hills (Worcs) 92-81, Bristol 88-73 and Desborough (Maidenhead, Berks) 87-84, North Wilts face Victoria (Street) in the fourth round on Sunday. Two rinks will be played at home in Chippenham and two away in Street.

Awaiting the winners will be Exonia (Exeter) or Victory (Portsmouth) in the quarter-finals early next year.

Meanwhile, Clarrie men and women contest national fourth round ties in the Denny Cup and Yetton Trophy on Saturday against Cotswold and North Wilts respectively.

Clarrie men had a bye in round one of the Denny Cup but recorded big wins over Malvern Hills 97-64 and Clevedon (90-41) in rounds two and three respectively.

Ahead of their Yetton Trophy tie against North Wilts, Clarrie ladies had a round-one bye in the Yetton Trophy before beating Thornbury 79-72 and Clevedon 85-60.

Clarrie men are also in action on Sunday in the Central region of the Wessex League when they face Clevedon.

Owing to fixture clashes with national mixed competitions, Clarrie have only played two of their eight scheduled group fixtures so far.

However, the Central region champions last season have stamped their mark on the group already with two big wins and a maximum 16 points in each.

They thumped Thornbury 153-46 in early October and, last Sunday, beat Bristol 104-41.

Clarrie led throughout against Bristol, moving 21-12 up at five ends, 52-19 at 10, 80-28 at 15 before finally winning 104-41 at 21 ends.

The away rinks in Bristol produced the biggest winning margins, with skip Russell Francis winning by 21 shots and Graham Shadwell by 19 shots.

Remarkably, the rink of Arran Tucker, Ashley Keirl, Craig Doughty and Shadwell had to come from behind to grab their big win.

They trailed 5-0 after five ends but had turned matters around to lead 13-5 at 10 and powered away to a 29-10 success.

Top spot, though, went to the foursome of Ian Perkins, Steve Smith, Colin Easton and Francis with a 29-8 victory.

There were also wins for home skips Andy Colebrooke 23-9 and Terry Perkins 23-14.

Despite only having played two matches, Clarrie Dunbar are second in the Central group table on a maximum 32 points, only two behind leaders St Andrews (Weston-super-Mare) on 34 points from four games.

Meanwhile, North Wilts are in fourth spot with 28 points from their two matches.

North Wilts last match before the festive break is against Thornbury on December 15.